Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The kid with the thousand yard stare should be high on the Oilers grocery list as they try to strike a deal with the LA Kings. Kyle Clifford is not a Zack Stortini that likes to hug his opponents strategically, nor is he a Steve MacIntyre who is on the team for fighting the other teams super heavyweights in mostly staged bouts. Clifford is already an intimidating specimen at a ripe old age of twenty (he just turned twenty in January). Kyle Clifford is a good old fashioned shit kicker.
Clifford isn't the biggest guy (6'2" and 210lbs. or so) but he is tough as nails, doesn't back down, has a bit of crazy in his game, and you don't have to ask him twice to drop 'em. He's also shown significant signs of improvement offensively since his draft season in '08-'09 (he doubled his offensive output in the OHL from 16-12-26 in 60 games to 28-29-57 in 58 games in '09-10). The Oilers need to change the culture of their team from a smallish and easily pushed around team to a team that will kick your ass if you lay a finger on their stars. Theo Peckham has a bit of that in him already but due to a number of factors he hasn't shown much of it this season. Tough players that can play the game, guys that are intimidating whether on the bench or on the ice, the rumors are that Wayne Simmonds is the target for the Oilers, IMO they're going after the wrong guy, Clifford is the guy to get from LA if Schenn is off the table.